Guide for All Master’s in Cyber Security Degrees

School Level Program Admissions

University of West Florida

Master Online Cybersecurity, M.S. Website

University of Delaware

Master Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Website

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Master Master of Science in Cyber and Homeland Security Website

Norwich University

Bachelor Online Master of Science in Cyber Security Website

Utica College

Master Online MS in Cybersecurity Website

+ Click to see more cybersecurity programs currently taking applicants.

Master's Degrees in Cybersecurity feature curriculums that teach specialized aspects of cybersecurity. This includes the prevention and detection of threats to recovery and forensic investigation. Students will also develop skills in evidence collection strategies. These help to find perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Employers often prefer or recommend a graduate degree in cybersecurity for specific roles. This includes network security architecture and executive positions in IT. Advanced courses in a graduate Cybersecurity program prepare individuals for more complex careers. Such courses help with system analysis, application creation and enterprise-based security solutions.

CAE Designated Institutions from the DHS and NSA

Graduate programs in cybersecurity should have verification through an accredited source. One of the most popular designations is the National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). This prestigious designation is only awarded to institutions that meet specific criteria. Programs must center around advancing security measures and information system innovation. This is a joint effort between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Are There Online Master of Cyber Security Programs?

The short answer is "yes". Making it even easier to earn a Cyber Security master degree is the fact that many schools offer this program online. Online learning makes it easy and convenient for an individual to earn the degree while continuing to work.

Quick Overview of a Graduate Program

Master of Cyber Security degree programs generally take a few years to complete. They have various prerequisite requirements for entry. Most graduate programs require a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity, Computer Science or a related field.

Consider these facts about taking an online degree

What to Expect with Online Programs

The format and curriculum requirements of online Master's degrees mimic traditional formats available on-campus. Students will study within a group and must meet assignment and examination deadlines. Hybrid cybersecurity programs also exist at some higher learning institutions. This type of degree program combines in-person and online learning.

There are some potential limitations for online graduate programs. Some colleges limit student applications to those who reside in the state or region. Some classes and activities may require in-person attendance for specific tasks. This might include networking opportunities or capstone projects.

Any school that declares its program to be 100 percent online will only offer online classes and activities. It is possible they will offer in-person experiences on a voluntary basis. Course availability may be different. Some electives will present at different times of the year. Other electives may be exclusive to an on-campus format. However, these concentrations or electives will not be integral to completing the degree.

Technical Requirements for Online Programs

Prospective students must review what hardware and software requirements are needed in order to successfully make it through the program. They must have a modern computer and access to fast internet speeds in order to stream or download lectures on demand and access course materials through the learning management system. Broadband access, along with a Windows or Mac operating system, is generally required.

Options for Online Masters in Cyber Security Programs

The Online Master's Degree in Cybersecurity is one of the most popular online programs in the field. The cybersecurity space is growing. The rate at which it is growing is also speeding up. Online Master's degrees are an excellent option for those who already have a Bachelor's degree.

While a Bachelor's in a tech-based field is ideal, a bachelor's degree can be in nearly anything. This is particularly true if someone decides to change careers. The flexibility of online programs allow you to work at your pace at any time of day or night.

There are two major differences or advantages for those in a Master's in Cyber Security degree program.

  1. Unlike associate and bachelor degree programs, graduate programs do not require general education courses like math, English, etc. because these courses were most likely completed at the undergraduate level.
  2. In addition, internships are usually required as part of undergraduate programs. The graduate program curriculum is dedicated to specialized Cyber Security coursework.

Find Online Masters in Cyber Security Degrees: Based on NSA CAE Designated Institutions

School Level Program Admissions

University of California Berkeley

Master Online Master's in Cybersecurity Website

Utica College

Master Master of Professional Studies in Cyber Policy and Risk Analysis Website

Utica College

Master MBA - Cyber Policy Website

Utica College

Master MBA - Cybersecurity Website

Utica College

Master MBA Economic Crime and Fraud Management Website

Masters in Cyber Security Programs

Best Online Master's Degrees for Cyber Security?

University of Southern California MS in Cyber Security Engineering

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers the Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering, which can be fully completed online or pursued on campus. Both formats are similar and allows for students to have a blend of both formats if desired. Students can finish the program between one and a half and three and a half years depending on type of enrollment.

What you would study at USC

When pursuing this degree, students will gain competency in understanding complex networking operations and being able and preparing for further studies with a doctorate program if desired. The curriculum allows for real-world scenarios completed by students in order to apply their academics to their future career. Examples of careers graduates seek after this degree include software development, network administration, and computer engineering.

Required coursework

Required courses include the following: Computer Systems Assurance, Foundations and Policy for Information Security, Security and Privacy, and Security Systems. At least two courses are needed among the topics of cryptography, forensics, administration, and system design. Students must complete at least 28 credit hours with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate from the program.

Required courses include the following:

  • Computer Systems Assurance
  • Foundations and Policy for Information Security
  • Security and Privacy
  • Security Systems

At least two courses must include cryptography, forensics, administration and system design. Students must also complete at least 28 credit hours with a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate from the program.

Students can enter into the program during the fall semester. Admission material requirements are necessary. Students need official transcripts showing the completion of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. GRE scores completed within the last five years are another requirement. An updated resume and a personal statement detailing career goals are also needed. Letters of recommendation are optional for this application process.

University of New Mexico MS Information Systems and Assurance

The Anderson School of Management at New Mexico offers the Master of Science in Information Systems and Assurance with multiple concentrations to customize the program. Security-focused concepts include pursuing Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, or System and Network Administration and Security. On average, graduates are able to enter a career with an average annual salary of $102,100.

Required coursework

All students will take a total of 11 courses. This equates to 33 credit hours regardless of concentration selection. The curriculum is customizable. Students have the ability to select courses that fit the type of information technology job they desire. Core courses also vary, such as:

  • Data Analytics
  • Advanced Systems and Network Administration
  • Digital Forensics
  • Information Assurance Policy

Resources available through the college include being part of student-led organizations, such as the Information Security Management and Analytics Research Team (ISMART). This enhances specific skills in analytics and improving the security of system administration, and improves networking with other professionals to improve job opportunities.

Scholarships available

There is an ability to apply for the Scholarship for Service (SFS) award if a student is looking to a government position within cybersecurity, along with various other scholarships distributed by the Anderson School of Management. For SFS, the award pays all tuition and travel fees, reimburses health insurance costs, and provides a $2,800 stipend per month.

Quinnipiac University Master of Science in Cyber Security

The School of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Cyber Security that is available completely online and prepares students to detect unauthorized activity within an information system. Asynchronous coursework provides the flexibility needed for students to study on their own time along with completing assignments and examinations with a cohort.

What you would study

Thirty total credit hours are necessary to complete the program. This includes a variety of topics, such as:

  • Relational and nonrelational database security
  • Cryptography
  • Web application security and design
  • Secure automation
Entry requirements

To get into the program, students should submit an application with fee, personal statement describing why they have chosen to pursue this degree at the university, updated resume that designates some work experience, and official transcripts from other institutions. If a student holds GMAT or GRE scores, they can submit those for consideration, but they are not required in the process.

There is a dual degree option

A dual-degree with a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Cybersecurity and a Master's degree is available. It is possible to complete both within five years. Core courses in the Master's degree blend with the major of the undergraduate program. This program also meets the criteria for the CAE in Cyber Defense education. Students must complete a cybersecurity capstone project to show subject competency.

New York University Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The Tandon School of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity that can be fully completed online. At least 30 credit hours are required to complete the program, and there is an optional final course that is a research project or Master's thesis for students looking to enter further education. All courses have met standards set by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS).

Typical classes and credits

Curriculum requirements are split up into three different segments: computer science, security, and electives. 21 total credit hours are for the first two subjects, and the former category has courses that can be swapped for others if students already have credit for them. This means nine credit hours are reserved for electives that can further customize the program.

Students have the capability to explore CAE-designated Cyber Operations courses within the program. This includes the following:

  • Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Mobile Security
Scholarships for online NYU students

Online students have the opportunity to pursue the NYU Cyber Fellows program, which offers a scholarship covering three-fourths of the tuition rate for the Master's degree program. This is a unique format that provides virtual laboratory sessions, multiple speaker sessions, and access to updated course material for up to five years after graduation. Exclusive for part-time enrollment, this can be completed in two to three years.

Virginia Tech University Master of Information Technology with Cybersecurity Concentration

The Pamplin College of Business offers an online Master of Information Technology, which includes a concentration in Cybersecurity. After the completion of this program, students can identify specific security systems and be able to identify any weaknesses in the process. They should also have competence in the variety of attacks that can occur within their systems, and the ongoing push of mobile integration.

Some online courses you may take

Specific courses in the Cybersecurity concentration include Fundamentals of Computer Systems, and two levels of Information Technology Security and Trust. Students must have programming knowledge in Java or C-based programming prior to entering the fundamentals course, which is offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The first and second IT security courses are only offered in the fall and spring, respectively.

This program can be completed in a span of two years with students taking two courses in the fall, spring, and summer terms. While this holds true for many concentrations that can be considered for this program, students must be aware of potential prerequisites in order to get into specific courses.

Considering a dual degree in DC

Students can opt to pursue a dual-degree with the Master of Business Administration for students located in the Washington DC metro area. There are also graduate certifications to consider that can transfer over into the MIT program at a later period. Related certifications include Cybersecurity Management, Cybersecurity Policy, and Cybersecurity Technologies.

Southern Methodist University Master's degree in Cybersecurity

The Lyle School of Engineering has a Master's degree in cybersecurity that can be completed within a span of two years. Students can gain a specialized education in computer and network security topics for a booming job field that is growing rapidly. There are three different start dates throughout the year in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Requirements

30 total credit hours are needed to complete the curriculum requirements. Examples of courses that students may take in the program include Software Testing and Quality Assurance, Hardware Security and Trojan Detection, and Computer Systems Security. Online courses will require 16 hours per week of studying, and this equates to two classes that students should take per semester.

Online education is operated on the Canvas learning management system, which offers full computer desktop compatibility on the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Students also have the opportunity to access course materials on their mobile devices with the iOS or Android operating system. Many courses will have live meetings between students and faculty members through the online platform.

Before applying

To be accepted into the Master's degree program, applicants must show completion of a Bachelor's degree in a related discipline, such as computer science, engineering, or mathematics. Individuals should have at least two years of work experience within IT, be able to submit GRE scores for consideration, and must have completed at least one year of calculus at the college level.

DePaul University Master of Science in Cybersecurity

In the College of Computing and Digital Media, students can choose to complete the Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Here are different concentrations to consider: Computer Security; Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance; and Networking and Infrastructure. This program is fully available online and the university has been designated as a CAE with this program.

Online features in this program include being able to stream or download lectures on-demand through the Course Online System. This learning management platform uploads courses automatically from the on-campus lecture within two hours after the completion of the lecture. An online proctoring service is used to verify that students are completing exams properly.

DePaul's CDM Security Lab

Unique student features at this university include hands-on lab experiments with the CDM Security Lab. This resource utilizes Cisco hardware and gives students the capability to work with different network systems and firewalls. There is also the student-based club, Security Daemons, which gives students the capability to work with others and have a chance to join or compete at cybersecurity competitions and conventions.

To get into the Master's degree program, prospective students must submit official transcripts from their higher education experience, which must include a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Optional submission items include letters of recommendation and professional experience from an information technology or information assurance position.

The Citadel Military College of South Carolina Master of Intelligence and Security Studies

A Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies can be earned completely online through the Department of Intelligence and Security Studies. Students can select from two concentrations: Cybersecurity or Leadership. The Cybersecurity focus helps students gain an understanding in security measures with operating systems and networks, and ethical and legal aspects of privacy.

Examples of courses that students take in this program include Advanced Topics in Database System, which gives further in-depth analysis on how to maintain and operate database systems to store and manipulate various sources of data. Data Communications and Networking goes into depth with internet protocol suites, relationships between the client and server communications, and security within the network.

Considerations

In order to be considered for this program, applicants should submit official transcripts that show completion of their undergraduate degree, two letters of recommendation, GMAT or GRE scores, and a writing sample that showcases writing and communication skills. Students already holding a graduate degree do not have to send letters of recommendation.

Another option is pursuing the Cybersecurity specialization through the Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences. Verified by the NSA, this program helps students gain the technical skills necessary for digital forensics and developing policy and procedure to avoid unauthorized intrusions in network systems. This program is in collaboration with the College of Charleston and is not available online.

Why Should You Choose Cyber Security As a Career?

Cybersecurity is a growing concern and a great career choice. This is due to the growing number of government hacks and corporate security breaches. A master's degree in cybersecurity can give students an edge with potential employers. Continue reading to learn all the facts about a Master's in Cybersecurity and all it entails.

Coursework to Expect for a MS in Cyber Security Degree

Cybersecurity students will take a variety of courses, such as:

Students learn all aspects of computer safety. This includes identifying and preventing potential cyber threats. Such precautions stop threats from entering the network. Students will also learn to adapt safety measures for the future.

Cryptography, Network Security, and More

Cryptography is another cybersecurity course essential as well as the following:

Most Cybersecurity Master's Degree programs also require the student to complete a capstone course. A capstone course is either a project or a written report based on research.

Look for Admissions Requirements

Graduate programs also have specific admission requirements. Such requirements must be completed before enrollment. The requirements will vary by each college and university. Requirements might include a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or a related field. Letters of recommendation are often necessary. Proof of completed prerequisite courses might be necessary and transcripts may be called upon. And a statement of purpose with a satisfactory GPA are often requested.

Typical Coursework for a Master’s Degree

Course Name Course Description

Introduction to Information Security

An introductory course explores many concepts the student will study. This presents an overview of cybersecurity. It also provides career expectations in data protection and process enhancements. These courses are usually found in the disciplines of cybersecurity and information assurance.

Communications and Networking

These courses focus on the relationship between the client and server within the network. Devices must have a clear and secure connection with servers. This allows them to store and retain information. Students may also learn to speed up processes. They do so through different communication methods and network setups. This may also include troubleshooting with various applications, and internet protocol suites.

Advanced Cyber Security

Advanced subjects within the field of cybersecurity are part of the core curriculum. This may include management procedures for various activities. These might include implementing new policies or solutions within an existing security system. Other topics could feature efforts to maintain and restore backup information in data recovery. They might also use risk assessment to determine what upgrades to consider.

Mobile and Cloud-Based Security

These are somewhat new concepts that are in high demand for cybersecurity positions. Individuals are constantly relying on mobile technology and cloud-based storage solutions. These areas are increasingly used to enhance people’s personal lives and work capability. Today, there is an abundance of sensitive information moving across networks. As such, it is critical for this data to stay protected with various security protocols to lower risk.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

For students studying security concepts within data science, these are necessary advanced topics. They look into the ways algorithms attempt to recreate human decisions. This technology continues to grow. People use it for digital assistance and driving capabilities. These practices make it essential to prevent data manipulation and compromise.

Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability analysis is also known as penetration testing. This allows individuals to detect vulnerability within an operating system or network system. It is key to minimizing data breaches or unauthorized access from individuals. These activities are completed in a controlled environment. They provide real-time data. Analysts can use this data to improve security policies and procedures.

Cryptography

Cryptography is one of the best ways to protect sensitive network information. Everybody uses cryptography on a daily basis. They do so by typing in a website URL, making an online payment transaction and more. Cryptography is the process of taking valuable data and creating defensive measures. These measures must prevent access by unauthorized parties.

Ethical and Legal Issues

Ethical and legal issues are at the core of cybersecurity practices. They are particularly important for students with aspirations of managerial or executive positions. At this career level, cybersecurity professionals must understand government and corporate policies. These may include standards that have been set to keep information systems secure. They are also important when data breaches occur and sensitive data becomes vulnerable.

Software Security

Students will understand the theory and practice of implementing security measures within applications. Software security protects information stored within the program and prevents unauthorized access. These skills teach students to identify vulnerabilities when reviewing software code and processes. They can also determine what type of security to use when developing software.

Hardware Security

Tools accessing or storing information to be free of compromise by hackers. Students can learn the differences between counterfeit and malfunctioning hardware. This helps to prevent intrusion and different attacks that infect an information system. Some specialized topics, like computer forensics, may also be explored.

What Are the Steps to Getting a Graduate Degree in Cyber Security?

Pursuing an online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity takes one to two years to complete. The length of time depends on the type of enrollment. Part-time students often need three or four years. Many online students study part-time in coordination with their professional careers.

Students can choose a primary discipline in cybersecurity or information assurance. Cybersecurity courses can also be a concentration or elective within different disciplines. These disciplines are computer science, business administration, health informatics and more.

The curriculum format can vary greatly based on the master’s program and discipline. Roughly 30 credit hours is common to fulfill degree requirements. This equates to 15 credit hours or so in each academic year. Often, core curriculum and electives are divided in half. Other times, the core subject matter requires slightly more credit hours.

Maintaining high academic marks is necessary to graduate. Typically, universities will require students to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Only a few courses can have a C grade. In many cases, receiving below a C results in academic probation or immediate dismissal from the program.

Typical Admission Requirements

Master’s degree programs in cybersecurity and information assurance have admission requirements. These requirements will be different for each program. Students will likely need a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. They might need at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Some programs allow lower GPAs. In these cases, schools might put students in a probationary period to prove their grades.

A Bachelor’s degree should have some focus on technology. This might be in computer systems, information technology, cybersecurity or other related disciplines. Certain Cybersecurity Master’s degrees will have prerequisite course completion requirements. A student can satisfy these by declaring a major or minor within a similar discipline. If a student is lacking a prerequisite, they must complete them before admission. These prerequisite courses do not count toward the Master’s degree credit hours requirements.

What is Submitted in the Application Process?

Admission officers will require various submissions to complete the application process. This will be unique to the program.

  1. Transcripts: Documentation might include official or unofficial transcripts from a Bachelor’s degree. An undergraduate program equivalent might be acceptable. Any course requirements should be identified on transcripts. The overall GPA or one focused on the major should also be identifiable.
  2. GMAT or GRE:GMAT or GRE scores may be necessary during the admission process. Many progressive programs are eliminating these test score requirements. They are now focusing on a more equal and equitable admissions process. Applicants must submit any documentation as set forth by the institution.
  3. Letters of Recommendation:One to three letters of recommendation can be submitted. This is considered a verification of the competence of the applicant by admissions. These recommendations often allow academic professors and employers to vouch for a student. Relatives are not permitted to be authors of these letters.
  4. Personal Essays:Personal essays may also be necessary or optional. The theme may center around why the applicant is pursuing a degree. An essay process might include situational questions related to the discipline. Various document style requirements and the number of pages will vary by college.

Full-Time Versus Part-Time Enrollment for a Master’s Degree

Students can attend a Master’s degree program on a full-time or part-time basis. This may not be an option at all colleges and universities. Either option presents positives and negatives for the individual depending on their needs. For example, part-time enrollment allows for students to continue working full-time. However, part-time students may face restrictions on student loan availability.

Colleges often consider 12 or more credit hours per semester as full-time enrollment for undergrads. This changes at the Master’s degree level. Students should maintain nine or more credit hours in each traditional term for full-time status. This adjusts for online programs that have different term structures.

Pursuing a degree full-time generally allows students to complete a Master’s degree within two years. Sometimes, they might take just one year if terms are taken consecutively. A significant time commitment is necessary for studies with advanced topics. Yet, this is the quickest way to receive this type of education when needed.

Part-Time Enrollment

Students will generally opt for part-time online enrollment at the graduate level. This is particularly common for students with jobs or those who care for loved ones. This provides flexibility to take one or two courses within a term. Students can then pursue additional opportunities outside of their education. Program participants with less than nine credit hours per semester are often part-time students.

This flexibility also allows students to focus on one subject rather than multiple. It can be easier for a student to take shorter course modules. This often leads to greater acceleration from one cybersecurity subject to another.

Federal student loans may not be available through a part-time enrollment status. There are, however, other options to consider. Working professionals may be able to get their education paid for by their employers. Some restrictions may apply to employer reimbursement. They might have to commit to long-term employment. It is also possible they may have to maintain a certain grade point average. The requirements will be different for each employer.

A Note on Cybersecurity and Other IT or Computer Science-Related Degrees

Cybersecurity Master’s degrees may not always be titled as such. Some schools offer a Master’s Degree in Strategic Cyber Operations and Information Management. Cybersecurity programs may also be titled as Network Security programs.

Specific Concentrations within the Master’s in Cyber Security Program

Because Cybersecurity is such a vast field, many programs also offer areas of concentration. These concentrations might include intelligence, computer forensics, cyber operations or information assurance. Concentrations allow students to focus on a specific area of cybersecurity.

Computer Forensics

A computer forensics track might focus on collecting evidence of cybercrimes. This often leads to criminals being charged and taken to court. Information assurance focuses on ensuring data is secure and safe from outside access. And cyber operations focus on protecting the network and computer from cyber invasions.

Intelligence

Students taking the intelligence pathway learn to gather information to determine who and what are threats to the system. Cybersecurity can also be a concentration in other computer-related programs. One option is a Master of Criminal Justice with a concentration in cybercrime investigation and Cybersecurity program.

Career Outlook for Those with a Master’s in Cybersecurity

Graduates of Cybersecurity master’s degree programs generally have a variety of career options, such as:

Both wages and employment outlook are very good for this field. The BLS projects these careers will remain in high demand for 10 years and beyond.

Tuition Costs for a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity

A Master’s degree in cybersecurity and information assurance can lead to higher-paying opportunities within IT. However, this investment into the future may require financial assistance for many. This might be in the form of financial aid or personal loans. There are many ways to lower education-related costs, including:

Tuition varies based on the university. Costs will also vary based on the state and city residence of a student. Online vs. in-person programs may also have different costs for the same subject. As an example, the University of Arizona has an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity that costs $1,332 per credit hour. It requires 33 credit hours to graduate. This makes the total program just under $44,000, which does not include additional student fees.

On average, students can expect to spend $20,000 to $80,000 in total on their Master’s degree tuition. There are many ways to lower the costs of graduate-level education. Consider smaller, online-based institutions that are accredited and offer local opportunities.

How to Pay for a Master’s Degree

Most students will use federal student loans or private loans to fund their Master’s degrees. Full-time study as a master’s student does not require as many credit hours per term as an undergraduate program. Some online programs and part-time students may need to seek out other loan options. Each higher learning institution will also have alternative financial solutions.

There are some limitations to consider for graduate program student loans. Annual academic funding does not carry over into extra terms, such as a summer session. If a student exhausts their financial aid in the fall and spring, they will require more finances for the summer.

At the Master’s degree level, employers may pay for higher education. This helps the employer prepare an employee for advanced positions within its organization. In exchange, the worker will likely have to commit to years of employment with the company. If they leave the company before the agreed upon timeframe, they may have to pay back the tuition.

Some Bachelor’s degrees allow exceptional students to complete a Master’s degree at the same time. Many advanced undergrad courses overlap with core courses in the graduate program. By doing this, it can eliminate up to a year of studies for the Master’s degree. This results in tremendous cost savings.

Online programs sometimes offer lower tuition rates. This is able to be done because online students do not have access to the same resources as on-campus students. Some schools also waive out-of-state tuition for online students. Out-of-state tuition is often double than in-state rates.

Scholarship Options for a Master’s Degree

Higher education for cybersecurity can be expensive. However, scholarships and apprenticeships can help to lower costs. Scholarships are sponsored financial awards that do not have to be paid back in most instances. Schools and programs offer scholarships. Organizations also provide scholarships as a way to boost cybersecurity employment. The government has cybersecurity scholarships, too. Many scholarships have restrictions based on location, level of higher education and demographics.

Some colleges provide automatic scholarships for graduate students with high academic merit. In this case, the scholarship may only be available for one or a few students. For most scholarships, students will have to fill out forms and write essays explaining why they are a good fit for the award.

An apprenticeship is a similar process when it comes to rewarding students with tuition reductions. This requires a commitment to further studies. It may also involve helping faculty members on a part-time basis. In exchange for the student’s work, their education costs will be significantly reduced. Tuition may even be eliminated altogether. A living stipend may also be available. Graduate apprenticeships typically do not allow students to work professionally on the side.

Examples of Cybersecurity Scholarships

The Department of Defense offers multiple scholarships toward military and government service. These are available at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The SMART Scholarship for Service program offers an opportunity for students to work at different military branches. This scholarship provides the following:

The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) offers up to two scholarships for female students that participate in the competition. Qualifying students must be enrolled in any degree with a focus on cybersecurity or information assurance. A $10,000 award is provided toward tuition and other related expenses. It also includes an exam voucher for any (ISC)^2 certification. A potential internship opportunity with Raytheon Technologies is also available.

Raytheon provides the scholarship opportunity to women as a way to boost females in the cybersecurity field. To secure the scholarship, students must attend a competition and hold a cumulative 3.3 GPA. They must submit unofficial transcripts showing their progress. A letter of recommendation from an academic is necessary. Students must also provide a resume. And a statement of purpose explaining why this scholarship is necessary along with career goals will be mandatory.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity?

Completing a Master’s degree opens up a wide variety of job opportunities. These might come in the form of advanced positions, such as managerial and executive roles. They might also involve securing computer and network systems for major enterprises. These professionals have the tools and skillset necessary to develop and improve systems. As a result, cybersecurity professionals improve operations and maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

Salaries also rise for professionals with a Master’s degree. Information security scientists and architects often see figures over six figures. Salaries are even higher wages when working in competitive locations. These include Washington DC, Virginia, New York, California, Washington and others.

A Master’s degree in cybersecurity is also a good fit for professionals with technical backgrounds and no cybersecurity experience. These programs can offer an easier path into cybersecurity and other specializations. Digital forensics and health informatics are just two examples of cybersecurity specializations.

Preparation for Doctorate Degree

The advantages of a cybersecurity Master’s degree are not limited to improving job opportunity prospects. Some programs offer the option to write a thesis. A thesis may focus on a particular subject within the discipline. This also helps to prepare for advanced studies at the doctorate level. This term paper will focus on a problem within the field or a theory and expand upon it. Students use program education to articulate the issues and showcase critical thinking capabilities.

Topics are often determined by the student. However, students must submit a proposal to an academic advisor or faculty member for approval. Once approved, students will research their topic and complete the term paper before graduation. This process is usually completed in the final few terms of the program. It often replaces the capstone project or comprehensive examination.

Career Opportunities

Computer and information research scientists have a variety of duties. Such duties might include developing and improving various aspects of information technology. Securing systems might also be a part of these roles. They may be responsible for creating the applications used by employees to access networks. These cybersecurity professionals may also create algorithms. Organizational algorithms often gather data from a variety of different sources. They may also continue to update processes and measures through innovation.

Overall, the job market is only going to expand with how important big data has become. It will also grow as network security remains critical. The transition to cloud-based computing and artificial intelligence will also contribute to growth. Between 2019 and 2029, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs will grow by 15 percent. The state of California has a number of open positions. And government agencies in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC have many jobs.

On a national scale, these positions pay an estimated $127,460 for the mean annual wage. This jumps to $189,780 annually when looking at the top 10 percent, but can fall to $69,990 on the lower end. Low estimations are often aligned with small towns and lower employment levels. Higher wages are typically in line with high costs of living. This might include major cities in New York, Virginia, Texas and the West Coast.

Computer network architects are also known as system administrators or system engineers. These are advanced positions that help build networking solutions for any size of an organization. They also help implement new innovations, such as cloud computing and machine learning. Duties include planning out solutions for companies that are evolving or transitioning into a new system. They will also determine company needs and compatible upgrading processes.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions specific to designing computer systems make an average of $115,430 annually. This average jumps when working in the insurance industry. Wage increases are also associated with large enterprises. States that offer the highest salaries include Virginia, Rhode Island and California. These all have an annual mean wage of over $128,000.

Cryptography often requires further education. This is one of the most important aspects of cybersecurity. These professionals create algorithms that protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. Even during a data breach, this information can only be unlocked and made viewable with a specific keyset. Hackers do not have access to these keysets. It is possible to accomplish this with various cryptography methods.

Written by Wendy Wittmer
Last reviewed October 26, 2021 by:
Wendy Wittmer, MBA. Specializes in cybersecurity planning and strategy for small businesses. Training from the Department of Homeland Security, CISA, NIST, FTC, FCC, SBA, more.

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